The main Opposition United Progressive Party says it has made stops in all 16 constituencies in Antigua since it started its “Small Business Pull-Up”, initiative after 16 weeks.
On Saturday, the caravan’s final stop on the tour was in the constituency of St Phillip’s South where the party says patrons supported over 25 micro and small enterprises in Freetown, St. Phillip’s Village, Lyons and Bethesda.
According to a press statement from the UPP, the grand finale staged at the Bethesda Playing Field, included the closing ceremony for the “Small Business Pull-Up” and the official opening of the Constituency Branch Office.
UPP Party Leader, Harold Lovell, says the Small Business Pull-Up initiative provided some key findings that the Party will consider.
“Many were surprised to discover such a proliferation of micro and small businesses, including both start-ups and established enterprises. Many have so much untapped talent and opportunities, just waiting to be unleashed and we will help harness their innovativeness and creativity to help reactivate the economy. The UPP decided that as a party, we would pool our resources to support small businesses that are struggling amid tough economic realities. Every dollar counts and by working together we recognize that we can have a big impact,” Lovell said.
Meanwhile, Lovell says a UPP government will declare the month of November “Small Business Pull-Up Month.”
He envisaged that the month-long celebration would begin with the Independence Food Fair on 1st November and include a calendar of exciting cultural and community events and training opportunities, designed to educate and empower small businesses.
He said “The preservation of the local culture and the potential to leverage it as a tourism niche, was also another key finding that emerged from the Small Business Pull-Up initiative”
The UPP leader also sees tremendous potential for the development of community-based tourism as a new niche, that would position small businesses to showcase their unique offerings and other traditions, in order to differentiate the tourism product.
“I really enjoyed seeing how many of these establishments have successfully preserved our local culture. From the culinary art of outdoor cooking using the coal pot, yabba and other culinary secrets, to agro-processing, with the production of local juices, jams and jellies and body products,” Lovell said.